Growing up an only child, there was no shortage of Barbie dolls in my house. I used to spend hours wading through a Rubbermaid bin of clothes and accessories to get Barbie ready for work, parties, safaris, and camping trips with all her friends. When I grew tired of Barbie, I had a brief affair with Jem and the Holograms (who were, in fact, truly, truly, truly outrageous).
So, maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but after previewing the newly-released line of Bratz dolls, I’m a bit horrified. The bobble-headed, big-footed, mini-skirt-clad Bratz team has recently expanded to include the “Wild Life,” (shown here) “Cowgirlz” and “Dance Crewz” lines. As Barbie gets closer to life as a Golden Girl, these Pussycat Doll wannabes are poised to swoop in as the next generation of plastic fashionistas. And I, for one, am terrified.
Where Barbie was all class in her ball gowns and power suits, the Bratz girls are a little too revealing in curve-hugging denim jumpsuits and way too much animal print. And while Barbie has notoriously been criticized for her unrealistic proportions, the Bratz take it to the extreme. What’s the deal with the tiny bodies, giant feet, and super-collagen-enhanced lips, anyway? Not to mention the To Wong Foo-inspired makeup. Yikes.
In an era where little girls are bombarded with sexualized images of women everywhere they go, could Bratz be sending the wrong message? And really, does anyone want to buy a doll named after the very thing you pray your kids won’t turn out to be?
Am I just out of touch with current toy trends? Or are these dolls seriously offensive? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
—Alicia, CF’s web intern